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Wheat - planting and harvesting

In Western Australia the story of the land during the twentieth century has been shaped by the story of wheat. It is important to remember that in 1900 only 30,000 hectares of land were under cultivation in Western Australia. By 2000 roughly 4.5 million hectares of land had been planted with wheat.

At the time of Federation wheat farming was a labour intensive occupation carried out on relatively small farms. All planting and harvesting of crops was carried out using a mixture of horse-drawn machinery and manual labour.

Wheat farming in Western Australia experienced a boom in the first decades of Federation. By 1905 over 79,000 hectares of land had been planted with crops, mainly wheat, which had become the State's major export earner. Wheat was stored and transported in bags which were filled and sowed in the fields where the grain was harvested. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century wheat had become vital to the local economy.